In the city of Arbash, nestled on the outskirts of a vast desert, the young girl My’ala walks out among the vineyards overlooking a delicate blue sea. Reaching a gnarled tree atop a small hill, she stumbles upon an old man, nestled among its roots – his name is Artemis the Hermit, and he longs to answer the simple question.
What is the meaning of life?
As the years pass, and the realities of a difficult life struggling to get by weigh heavy upon her, My’ala finds herself returning to the Hermit by the tree to seek counsel, and to find purpose in a world where she feels so lost. But when an enemy appears from the sea, and her family are torn apart by the spectre of war, it is in the Hermit’s teachings that My’ala will find her answers – and how the meaning of life may just save her city from a swift and certain end…
The Crescent Moon is a short, yet insightful and thought-provoking fantasy book that explorers the philosophy of love, life, choices and consequences. Its uniqueness made for the perfect break between the usual fantasy.
In short I can say this is an absolutely fantastic novella that seems to hit depths of thought that many others don’t. Set in the city of Arbash, it follows My’ala and her family, addressing a variety of situations within her family, while questioning parts of their life.
At the beginning of The Crescent Moon, My’ala meets the Hermit, whom she instantly befriends and ends up discussing a variety of philosophical questions. In short it actually reminds me of a fantasy version of Sophie’s World, a favourite of mine. Each part of the novel poses a new question, which My’ala’s family are dealing with while also coming to terms with a foreign invasion which has never happened before. The invasion, played a pivotal role and definitely added a sense of mystery alongside My’ala’s meetings with the Hermit.
The writing is of course beautiful and felt immersive all the way through, leaving just enough to the imagination to make this book feel magical. It’s definitely clear that Doble is a very talented writer.
I won’t say more about this brilliant novella, other than that I most definitely recommend it, especially if you like stories that question aspects of life and are rife with symbolism and philosophy. If the beautiful cover doesn’t capture you then I guarantee the words within will capture your imagination.
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